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Saturday, January 29, 2011

110129 A big sketching day

Today I had yet another (using that phrase a bit in the last few posts!) big sketching Saturday. And yet another visit to Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.... I will reveal why in a few days time! If you want a sneak preview check out this blog!
110129 Mrs Macquaries Chair
Started the day with a visit to Mrs Macquarie's Chair - where you get the classic view of Sydney (Opera House with Bridge in the background). I haven't been here for years so as it was quiet at the chair sketched it first. Just when I was finishing, an enormous number of tourists arrived.

From Wikipedia: The chair is an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench, on a peninsula in Sydney Harbour, hand carved by convicts from sandstone in 1810 for Governor Macquarie's wife Elizabeth. Folklore has it that she used to sit on the rock and watch for ships from Great Britain sailing into the harbour. She was known to visit the area and sit enjoying the panoramic views of the harbour.
110129 Classic Sydeny View with something extra
Next I went down to the waterfront for THE view of Sydney (which I have never sketched). I was wanting to do a sketch that I could post on Urban Sketchers about the terrible floods in Queensland (and also NSW and Victoria) but not sure how to do a sketch on location - a view of a picture on my TV? Anyway right here was the answer to this dilemma - a floating roof in Sydney Cove reminding all of the Qld Flood Relief! What a brilliant idea - I have no idea who was behind it.
110129 RBG Shop
Went into the Garden Precinct and spent an hour or so doing some big sketches (outside of a sketchbook) before meeting up with Wendy and Annie for a coffee who also happened to be in the gardens today. BTW I happened to walk past Alissa sketching outside the Art Gallery this morning using her new lamy pen. This is so funny as I really wanted to have some solo sketching time today yet I saw the whole gang!
This is a sketch from our table. W&A departed and then good friends of mine who were in town today came for lunch.
110129 RBG Macquarie Wall
After lunch, more sketches (on loose paper) and then a final sketch in my gardens sketchbook for the day. Following the Macquarie theme... I stopped to look at a historic wall. The Macquarie Wall was built 1810-1812, during Governor Macquarie’s time, it is the last of the walls of the Macquarie era still existing. Spoke to numerous people while sketching this!

BTW those are huge 'bats' - Australian Flying Foxes that are causing havoc in the gardens - a number of them were flying around when I sketched this!
110129 Art Gallery Afternoon Tea
Feeling exhausted so popped into the Art Gallery cafe for arvo tea. Another great conversation with the couple next to me! It is impossible not to have a socialable time when sketching. I had to stop 2 waitresses from removing my plate etc on the table.
110129 Art Gallery Entrance
In order that my art gallery visit wasn't just for tea and scones(which were very good just for the record) I did a sketch on my way out.
So a big day (and I haven't posted my 4 big sketches!!!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

110128 Rome vs Bologna

110128 Rome vs Bologna
Yet another over ambitious late night architectural sketch... it was a good reason to stay up and watch Andy Murray win the semi-final in the tennis.

This is a little contrived to make the two buildings lie up like this.

Very tired now at 11.45pm....of course I have a big morning of sketching ahead!
Have a good weekend everyone.

Earl Greys of Crows Nest 10 - E61

Earl Greys of Crows Nest 10 - E61

The next one in the series....another good cup of tea and a wonderful vegie wrap with chick pea pattie..and friendly staff as usual! I am not a real Toby's estate Earl Grey fan but there is no doubt that it is good quality.

I was very pleased to have a non black interior for a change!

This is part of my review of the earl grey tea that is on offer in cafes in Crows Nest Sydney. The rest of the series is here

Thursday, January 27, 2011

110127 I know I know....

....not another cup!
110127 I know I know
(minor point: this one doesn't have tea in it although I was drinking tea at the time) Random thoughts as well...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Can a Cuppa save 160 lives (or even 400)?????

110126 A Cuppa saving 160 lives!
Don Ritchie - Australian Local Hero 2011
Such an inspiring story that I had to do a page in my journal!

"Mr Ritchie, who lives opposite the infamous Sydney suicide spot The Gap, has talked more than 160 people out of taking their lives there.

His strategy: simply to offer a cup of tea and chat back at his place.

Mr Ritchie says it does not take much to make a difference for those in need and anyone can help."

Of course it is not the cup of tea that it is important... it is a man(and his wife) who cares and in his own quiet way is making a difference!

110126 My Australia Day

In recent years I have made an effort to go out to an Australian Day event to sketch. Today I had a wonderful catch up day....
110126 A morning T2 cuppa
110126 What I didn't do on Australia Day

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

110125 A rare Liz Sketch of BB

110125 A rare Liz Sketch of BB
If you haven't noticed... I rarely draw the Bear. Sure I take a lot of photos of him but somehow I just feel like it is impossible to capture the moods in his little face with my pen. I know...I am too hard on myself - I am sure that he doesn't mind that I don't get a perfect likeness!
So tonight I tried a few times - here is the final attempt.


Mirazozo Exterior
Mirazozo Visit
Yesterday after work I met Wendy and Alissa outside the Opera House in order to sketch an incredible space....Mirazozo a large inflatable sculpture. Here are photos of it.
110124 Mirazozo Inside
We were very thankful that we were allowed to sketch inside it...but it was a challenge to sketch as we were sitting in a green pod and it was hard to see what colours were what. We had limited time too - only 20 minutes. So here is my sketch as I was able to achieve in the conditions.
110124 Mirazozo Outside
After a walk and sketch in the gardens I came back and it was being deflated for the evening - I had to work quickly for this one..

Monday, January 24, 2011

110124 Botanic Gardens - Victoria Lodge

I don't often go out on a Monday night...but I did this week (after all tomorrow is like Friday!?! That is due to Australia Day holiday on Wednesday)
110124 Botanic Gardens-Victoria Lodge
More about why I meet up with Wendy and Alissa later... but we also ended up in the Royal Botanic Gardens again - a quick sketch before the gates were closed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

110122 World Wide Sketchcrawl 30 at Manly

110122 Sydney Sketchcrawl 30 Group Photo
Sydeny Sketchcrawl 30 Sketchbooks Photo
wonderful day today at Manly with 17 sketchers (and one bear!!!) I did too much sketching and talking for one day!!!
My mega sketching effort today! 12 double page spreads and a LOT of talking as well. No wonder they are all loose and rushed sketches today!
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_01
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_02
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_03 Manly Cove
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_04 Manly Cove Detail
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_05 Lunch View
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_06 Lunch and Group
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_07 Manly Pavilion
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_08 Manly Pavilion Pipe View
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_09 Manly Pavilion Detail
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_10 Afternoon Tea
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_11 St Andrews
110122 Sketchcrawl 30_12 Queenscliff Beach

Friday, January 21, 2011

110121 Big Tidy Up

110121 Big Tidy Up

I should have spent a week over the Christmas break doing a big summer clean..but I went away instead. Changing the angle on my drawing board last week has had a huge knock on effect over two rooms... after 2 weeks of spending my evenings working hard at it I have achieved much but with still more to go. So this sketch tonight, while watching a fantastic game of cricket (nice to see an Australia win this summer for a change!), was a great way to celebrate getting in control of my over-abundance of books but also a reminder of the deep dark corners that still need work.
BTW 1 - on the left is an abstract plan(ie. not showing the furniture) of the two rooms under review (at the moment!) and what I still need to do
BTW 2 - these two shelves represent less than a third of my books/ magazines. (hmmmm, I don't know what to do with all my architecture magazines - I have 11 years of British AR all in a row in order... I can't throw them out can I?)
BTW 3 - I saw an image this week of someone who sorts her books by the colour on the spine(via Designsponge?) It looked stunning so I thought I would try it for one shelf. A lot of fun but I prefer to sort by subject.
BTW 4 - the short shelves in the middle are for my sketchbooks. Needed some sorting to fit all my sketchbooks from last year in there and I only have room for 4 more... so there will be another bookshelf crisis later in the year.

Ok... time to get ready for tomorrows big sketchcrawl... we are meeting at Manly Beach!!!

Earl Greys of Crows Nest 9-Montagu

Another one in the series...
Can you believe it...TEA COSY!!!! Another good quality tea.
Whilst black interiors look very sharp - they are not my favourite to paint...
Earl Greys of Crows Nest 09-Montagu
This is part of my review of the earl grey tea that is on offer in cafes in Crows Nest Sydney. The rest of the series is here

San Carlo Sketches

I just realised that I never posted as individual images the sketches I did from 4 wonderful visits to Borromini (Bear)'s favourite Borromini(the architect) building - mine too!
0929WE_06 San Carlo Ext
It really is an amazing building - I kept turning up close to the middle of the day closing time so never had enough time there.

0925SA_05 Columns
This first visit I only got time to draw a single column... but after that each visit I focussed on a different part of the building- enjoying George H Sullivans wonderful words from "Not built in a Day"
0929WE_07 San Carlo Int Columns triads
1001FR_04 San Carlo Courtyard
1001FR_05 San Carlo Dome
1002SA_05 San Carlo Overall Int
1002SA_06 San Carlo Notes Int

Thursday, January 20, 2011

110120 Bits from this week.....

Out of character?
110119 Out of character?
A 'raw' liz sketch...just the outline. One of the reasons why I don't feel like I have been sketching lately is that I am aiming for early nights - and most of my week night sketches occur post 10.30pm... a thing of the past now!!!!

SO have to get out at lunch more... so today....
110120 Today at lunch...
- only had 30 minutes out of the office. St Thomas Rest Park, Crows Nest, Sydney
I was thinking of adding text at the top and then decided to leave it as it is (including my red guidelines!)

And then tonight I took some time to chill....
110120 Friends-the bears friends and mine too!
A few more of Borromini's friends that he brought home with him.
If any of my UK friends see this.... I will write SOON (I hope!!!) but this is a sign that I AM thinking of you!!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I hope my sister sees this

....a pencil sketch of one of her very special bears (she had a few growing up - not like me who didn't get my own bear till 3.5 years ago!)
I hope my sister sees this!
This is Cola Partesian Bear - CPB for short. His name is a kind of a spoonerism on Polar Cartesian (my sister named him Cola and our mathematical brother had a hand in the second name). A cheap polar bear soft toy from the Royal Easter Show who lost most of his stuffing many years ago.

I did this sketch over 20 years ago and I am very impressed that I managed a perfect likness!

BTW, my big tidy up continues....amazing the things you find!

110115 A few hours in the Gardens

I am spending as much time as I can these days in the Sydney Botanic Gardens (I will explain why in a week or so) and have started a separate sketchbook for my garden sketches. .
110115 Botanic Gardens 01 Morshead F Gate
Here are a few that I did on Saturday - it wasn't the most pleasant day... I find high humidity very draining but still I sketch and sketch....

110115 Botanic Gardens 02 Succulent Garden
Perhaps sitting in the succulent garden in the middle of the day was NOT a good idea - it is hot here in the middle of winter!
110115 Botanic Gardens 03 Succulent Group
110115 Botanic Gardens 04 Levy Fountain
Was fun to sketch the fountain and watch all the people come up and drink - even try to have a water fight with the bubblers - but I did try to keep an eye on this toddler (where was his mother?)

Monday, January 17, 2011

110117 Composition Liz Style

A few people have asked me for some tips on composition.... I think that rather than give a few 'rules' I would try to explain my thought processes for a few pages.Every page is different and everyone will have their own unique way to compose it.

So here are two pages from Saturday in the state they were when I got home. Often I have to complete my pages at home (add text, tie the elements together)

Imcomplete Page 1
Page 1 - Morning Tea
Normally, I do take a little thought before I start sketching - is it to be a single object or a full page spread to describe the moment. If a single object (or group of objects such as a cup, teapot and plate of scones...funny that I chose that subject as an example?) I try to think very quickly of what else I might want to do on the page in order to have a stab at its size and location. Sometimes I have no idea what other things I might what add to the page but I do have a feeling of where to put it based previously layouts in my book and what I think would add variety. Other times I don't think at all but just draw...and occassionally I purposely challenge myself by drawing a cup of tea right bang in the middle of a page just to see what I can make of the full spread.
On Saturday morning (page 1) I was half thinking of drawing my scones and then I felt too embarrassed to let the world know that I ordered them so I just drew the tea and pot. Was actively involved in the conversation so I didn't really get a chance to sketch a view of the cafe, or a detail a flower arrangement etc. But just when we were finishing up I suddenly had a thought (out of nowhere) to draw the plan. This was as far as I got.
Imcomplete Page2
Page 2 - Lunch
I had a few minutes sitting at the table alone so I started drawing the fountain... then after the I had eaten my food I decided to draw a facade of the buildings of the courtyard. Still talking and not really concentrating on what I was drawing... once again this was a far as I got.
110115 03 Afternoon Tea
Page 3- Afternoon Tea (T2 tearoom if you are wondering)
Trying a very difficult view of the tearoom. I was rushed as it was closing time- so didn't draw this as carefully as I would have liked to and rushed the colour. I am not going to do anything more to this page.
110115 Composition Liz Style

Now what am I going to do with these?? (BTW these as the first three spreads in my new book #35) It is important for me to see the three pages as a sequence. I like the fact that I have a full page spread (afternoon tea) and a more sparse first page.
This spread is a record of the type of thinking that I do...

First- I decide what else I want to put on the page- heading, business card, map, text. An aside ... I like to contain my text in columns or a block of text.

Second - Should I consider adding another element - texture, colour relating to the page?

Third - I mentally look at some options for putting these on the page - sometimes I struggle to picture it mentally so I scribble with my pencil the options. As I am an architect and deal with composition, shapes, spaces etc in my daily job I am very used to testing alternatives. I also think about the pages before (or after) and make sure I mix up horizontal and vertical elements. Sometimes I don't really look at options...but a layout seems to jump out at me.

Fourth - I just make a quick decision(ie. don't worry too much and start on the page. Often I change my direction as I am adding text etc. That is part of the fun for me.

110115 01 Morning Tea

So I decided to keep page 1 simple and I didn't end up putting the map on either page.
BTW- this sketch is quite wrong in the fact that I drew the pot full of tea and then drew the cup full of tea. One of them should have been empty. Also the tea had been plunged so I am thinking that the pot should have been empty!
110115 02 Lunch

Often I make the wrong decision... or more accurately am not sure that I made the right one. Not sure if I did the right thing with the courtyard cafe page...but hey it is just a page in my sketchbook...who cares!?
Hopes this all makes sense.